It wouldn’t be surprising to me if all you knew about Exoprimal was that it has something to do with dinosaurs. While true, the actual premise of the game is even stranger. In this multiplayer only experience, teams of fighters will work to destroy waves and waves of dinosaurs falling from the sky. While your experience with the game depends on the group you play with, there is still lots of fun to be had.
The thing about games like this is that sometimes the fun doesn’t last. Or perhaps, the novelty of the premise quickly dissipates and you are left wondering what you are actually doing? During my time with Exoprimal, I was both exhilarated and frustrated, both intrigued and bored. Does the overall experience hit the mark though? Let’s hop in and take a look!
Platform(s): PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Microsoft Windows
Reviewed on: PlayStation 5
Publisher(s): Capcom USA
Genre: Fighting Game, Third Person Shooter
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)
There is a story to Exoprimal
You might be shocked to find that a multiplayer only game has a strong story component. You are on a mysterious island full of oddities and more, and while members of your team go to collect information on the island, you are taken by an AI named Leviathan to participate in arena battles. Your job, on top of destroying waves of dinosaurs with your squad, is to collect war data to better understand what is happening.
What I really enjoy about the story is that it evolves as you play. Remember, there is a team of others outside the battle arena collecting data and making discoveries. As you play through more and more arena fights, research is happening outside. That means as you pass hour 5, hour 10, and so on, new twists enter your arena. More often than not, it’s a new enemy type for you to deal with, but other surprises drop as well. We won’t spoil those here.
Engaging gameplay loop
During these war games, two teams will compete with each other to complete a number of objectives. These objectives range from killing a set number of dinosaurs to taking down overly powerful dinosaur. There are also missions that require players to grab objectives around the map.
As we noted, you will be performing these objectives against another team, although independently of each other. The team who completes their objectives first get a headstart in the final round. This final round can be more Player Versus Environment (PvE) objectives, or an all out Player Versus Player (PvP) experience. Getting that extra few moments in the final battle can be great for strategizing, so finishing objectives quickly is fairly important.
What makes this loop so engaging is the variety and uniqueness of the experience. The more you play Exoprimal, the more missions you will unlock. Further, unlike most shooters where the game focuses on an all out assault, Exoprimal is different. The PvE aspects of the game, where you indirectly race against the other team, was some of the most fun I’ve had in a shooter in a long while.
Variety in game modes, variety in strategy
What I really enjoyed about Exoprimal is how a players strategy requires manipulation depending on the situation. I’m traditionally pretty terrible at first and third person shooter games. In Exoprimal, I do struggle with some of the PvP elements. However, when level requires only PvE expertise, I’m much more in my element.
There are different strategies required depending on what you are doing. In PvE, it’s all about using your various special abilities to maximise the damage you do. It’s about supporting teammates against hordes of dinosaurs. Essentially, it means I can spray bullets in any direction and probably make an impact. It reminds me at times of a Warriors game, but with dinosaurs!
What class you choose to play will also alter how you play the game. The standard main classes exist – tanks, supports, and assaults – but within each it breaks down a bit more offering some variety in how you choose to build your character.
Where does Exoprimal go wrong?
For as much fun as the game is, there are still things worth considering. The game might often feel like a blatant rip on Overwatch. For players who like originality and unique systems, I’m not sure Exoprimal is going to give you that feeling. Even some of the exo-suits are going to look strikingly familiar.
The other issue is that the game is multiplayer only, and if you squad up with really good teammates, things are going to be fine. However, as the quality of the teammates diminishes, and more importantly, if the communication diminishes, the games feel much less fun and exceedingly more frustrating. It’s not impossible to play a match with someone not using a microphone, but it is exponentially less fun. This is, however, a concern across all multiplayer only games, so Exoprimal isn’t unique in this situation.
Exoprimal offers a unique adventure worth exploring
Overall, Exoprimal is a really fun experience, with twists and turns popping up every few hours to keep the gameplay fresh. The game looks and plays really well, despite the obvious nods to Overwatch. While a non-communicative teammate can ruin the experience, most of my interactions online have been positive. If you are looking for a mindless shooter, and want to take down hoards of dinosaurs, this is the game for you.
+ Crazy, satisfying combat
+ An actual story to follow
+ Fun variety in levels and missions
– Poor multiplayer communications can ruin an entire match
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF EXOPRIMAL
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5